Wednesday, May 5, 2010

March of Dimes

We walked for March of Dimes at the end of April, my parents joined us too. It was a fun day and the rain held off. We raised a great amount of money, thank you to all our sponsors!

Left a piece of my heart in NC

And about 12 inches of hair! :)

I caught a flight and visited my sister this past weekend. It was a much needed break! Had a Mani/Pedi, good food, saw Taylor Swift in concert and made some awesome memories! I'm so thankful for sisters (and beautiful, silly nieces).

And what else are big sisters for? Talking you into chopping your hair off. So I did it, I cut my hair... Joel was a little less than thrilled. I like it though and very easy to do! It was a much needed change :)

What would I do without my big sis?

Couch to 5k

I've started the "couch to 5k" program and it seems really too good to be true!

It doesn't feel difficult, I think I can really do this. And although it feels easy, after every session I'm drenched in sweat. It's an every other day program, but I've been doing the sessions daily because I haven't been sore and I want exercise to be an everyday thing for me. I want it to be a habit.

I can feel a difference and I'm only on day four. I feel less tense, and I've been sleeping better.

Right around the end of the program... I'll be in a race in honor of Cheryl, that's my sister's mother in law, she had a transplant a few years back and it took successfully. We're racing in her honor, and also for the donor, who is a relative of hers. My brother in law is challenging me to run the 5k :) I told him I'd have to think about it.

Has anyone done the couch to 5k program? What did you think of it?

she got it from her mama

and her dad & her grandpa apparently.

My high blood pressure!

Looks like all the tests came back normal. Which is a relief! I'll be on medication until I can hopefully control this with changing my diet and losing some weight.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Good News

My body is responding to the meds for high blood pressure, which is great because what they're testing me for, renal artery stenosis, does not usually respond to medication. Still have the MRA this Friday though, so I'll know more next week.

I haven't been journaling much here because I've been doing a lot of the old fashioned journaling with paper and pen :) Sometimes, I feel like I censor myself here and I don't like it. In my old fashioned journal I can say whatever I feel at the time without judgement. It's nice. I keep it next to my bed. I journal when I'm happy, when I'm sad... when I find a quote I love, and when I need to vent. You know, whenever...

Joel says he doesn't read it, lol, but I always tell him I wouldn't mind if he did. Sometimes, I'll read him an old entry from when I was pregnant, or back when we were in high school and we were dating... (we're high school sweethearts, started dating when I was 15) and we laugh. It's funny reading my thoughts from back then.

But I don't like reading the entries when I was going through PPD... I look back and I just want to reach out and touch that person I use to be, and tell her things will go back to normal someday soon. They're really sad... I'm thankful I have them though, the entries, because it's easy to forget all that I went through. Depression is something I firmly believe you won't fully understand in less you've been through it. It's like a fog, and all you want is to be the old you. And I think it's something easy to forget like the pains of childbirth. You know it was horrible, but looking back it doesn't look so bad... but it was, your memory is just being kind.

I want to try to write more here again, it's nice having people comment and express their opinions too... and it's nice having the offline journal too, where it's just me and no comments :)

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Results & more waiting...

Test results came back and it was negative. I was having abnormal bleeding... they were worried I was having a miscarriage, or that I was currently pregnant. Turns out it was neither. Which is a relief. My blood pressure was caught by my midwife during my appointment to check out what was going on with me.

Yesterday I had a doctors appointment about the high blood pressure, I was put on BP medication and also since I'm so young, they did an EKG, ordered a few more blood tests, a urine test to check for protein and I'm also going in for an MRI next Friday. He seems to think this high BP is just a symptom of something else...

So more waiting and more results.

I haven't weighted myself in awhile so I did this morning, I'm down 7lbs! Which is great :) Who knows, maybe I just have crappy genes (my mother, father & older brother have high blood pressure) and this high blood pressure just needs to go down the natural way, by eating right, watching my sodium intake and losing some weight! I also just learned yesterday an old high school friend has high blood pressure like me and she's in the navy! So maybe it's not that uncommon for someone my age.

Thanks for the well wishes and thoughts! It really means a lot to me.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Waiting for the results...

Somethings are going on with my health right now. My blood pressure is through the roof and a few others things are being questioned. I've been put on a really strict diet, low sodium and basically an insulin resistance diet as well. Since I've found out, I've been sticking to it... I'm scared.

I'm suppose to have the results to a few tests in a couple hours, I'm nervous. It could be good news, bad news or nothing at all.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Down 5lbs!

Slowly, but surely I'm losing the weight. I'm officially down 5lbs total. I'm so excited!

And for those who think 5lbs isn't much... this is what 5lbs of human fat looks like. No joke.

And I've even indulged a little here and there, but by limiting my portions. I'm not depriving myself of the things I've always loved, but they're reserved for special occasions. And I try to stay away from artificial sweeteners, because drinking diet pop, eating those 100 calorie packs, is going to make me still crave those things. I'm honestly getting over those cravings, and I'm cravings healthy things like dried fruit, and carrots & dips, etc.

Here's to a great start! I'm halfway to my first goal!

Friday, March 19, 2010


"The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong."

My mother asked me to read "Redeeming Love", and lent me her book. It's a novel and with a religious message about forgiveness. And for the record, I believe in all paths to God and did enjoy this book. I'm not finished with it yet, but I feel like I already know the story. It's the story of our life. Not literally, but the forgiveness factor... to have the life we all do now, required lots of courage and strength and lots and lots of forgiveness. (BTW, did you know in the bibles it says to forgive someone 7x77 times? Yeah my mouth dropped too when I read it.) It's a story of forgiveness we should all strive for.

One of the greatest gifts my mother gave me and my siblings was the ability to forgive. She drilled the values of forgiveness into our brains! I think that's the reason I am so close with my siblings. I am the youngest of four. And we all get along. And by get along, I mean we always forgive each other for the stupid things we say and do no matter what. And if by some chance one of us happened to even try to hold a grudge, my mother would be there, telling us life is too short to waste it on anger.

It's sad to see so many people in life holding onto a grudge, to see the petty things they justify in their minds as unforgivable. Forgiving doesn't mean you continue to let someone toxic hurt you over and over, it just means you've let go of the anger and released yourself. And for those who have been viciously and purposely hurt by someone, it's true- forgiveness is only for the strong. This is where the quote holds true.

“Forgiveness is the economy of the heart... forgiveness saves the expense of anger, the cost of hatred, the waste of spirits.”
- Hanna Moore

I can think of a few people who have recently hurt me that I have yet to forgive, who I thought didn't matter much to me, but I am still angry at the way they treated me. I will never understand why, but I know that I need to forgive them, to release me from this petty anger and time wasted thinking why?

Take a look at your life. Is there someone you need to forgive? Do you need to forgive yourself? Don't waste another second on anger...

Photo by dana_nana

Monday, March 15, 2010

weight loss hypnotherapy session #3

I saw my counselor, Roy tonight. And I told him everything that's changed in the last week. I HAVE lost 2 1/2 pounds in one week. I weighted myself again today, and ta-da I was back down :)

I also gave in and told him about this blog. I feel like this blog has been a major outlet and also allowed me to gain support from others going through the same thing, and also seeing their story and their struggles.

He said it was awesome that I'm doing this! (By the way, I underestimated Roy, he knew what a blog was without any explanation. lol ) He said support from others who are going through the same thing is VERY important. He was really proud of me. He also encouraged me to find people in my life who have went through the same thing that I can lean on. I have a close cousin who has lost a lot of weight and I know she's very sensitive and knows the struggles and hardships that come with weight loss. I think I might give her a call. I've been meaning to hang out with her anyways, she's like another sister and I really miss her.

We later talked a little about eating slower so my mind & stomach match when I'm full, and drinking water before meals to fill me up. All things I know, and try to do, but I'm not very successful at. He also talked about portion control and trying to eat half of what I normally eat, which I've already started doing this past week.

These are all the things he focused on when we did the hypnotherapy session. He also repeated what he said last week about seeing that image of me happy at 140lbs, my healthy weight and also told me think of other times in my life that I was happy and healthy. I thought of myself when I was around 16 and wearing a 2-piece. That was the last bikini I ever wore. Red and black striped and it was adorable. I wish I had a photo! He also told me to picture myself in a week, in a month, in six months and in a year. He said these images should come to mind when I feel the urge to binge. And then he counted back from 5 to 1 and I woke up. I felt so exhausted when I woke up, I think this time change is kicking my butt. I kept rubbing my eyes like I just woke up from a long nap.

After the session, I told him I've been having dreams that I'm skinny and lost a lot of weight. (I forgot until he mentioned to picture myself at my best.) I look down I feel great about myself and I feel comfortable and I'm healthy! He said that's good, because it's my subconscious doing it's job :)

Sunday, March 14, 2010

I know I shouldn't get discouraged.

But the scale does make me a little frustrated.

I've been eating healthy all week, since I last saw Roy... and I lost 2.6 lbs, but for the last two days the scale is saying otherwise (only 1lb). I know I could possibly be gaining muscle since I just started working out... but in the back of my mind I thought the pounds would just melt off.

I'm not on a "diet" though, I'm eating how I want to eat for the rest of my life. I'm making healthy choices and limiting my portions.

I saw on Celebrity Fit Club a few of them have the same problem, and one of the counselors on the show said when you do it the right way (making it a lifestyle change) it will be much slower. I hope what she said is true. I really want this.

I do feel more confident. I feel like I CAN do this, and I am the one in control now. I'm really proud of myself for taking this step for me and for my family.

And speaking of family, since I have started cooking healthy (whole grains, more fruits & veggies & basically only cooking chicken or turkey) Joel has lost A LOT of weight without even trying, around 30lbs. I guess you could say I'm a little jealous, haha.

Tomorrow is my second hypnotherapy session with Roy. Can't wait to tell him the progress I've made :)

Friday, March 12, 2010

I freaked out this morning

I totally freaked out this morning. I took Jack for a walk and then put the stroller back in the garage, after I closed it and turned around, Jack was gone! I ran around the building screaming his name, about to call 911... when I heard a small whimper from the garage, he must have ran in as I was closing it! I never want to feel that way again. I gave him the typical, "Don't you ever do that to mommy again!" speech. It was really scary.

And yesterday, my little man was sick. He was extra grumpy in the morning and so I put him down really early for his morning nap. When he woke up he just wanted to snuggle. I rocked for him for about 10 minutes before deciding to take him into our room to our big bed. We laid down to snuggle, when Jack sat straight up and got sick all over the bed. After I gave him a quick bath, and cleaned the sheets, we spent a lot of time cuddling, forehead kissing, and hair stroking. My poor little boogie. A few hours later he was running wild again though and he didn't get sick the rest of the day. I was thankful.

And this morning... before the freak out, I saw I lost another 1.6lbs! That's 2.6 in four days :D woo woo!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

1lb down

That's right, I lost 1lb. Not a lot, but it's something. I decided to start rewarding myself when I reach certain weight loss goals. So here's my list I came up with.

-10lbs new fun plates & bowls
-20lbs pedicure & mani
-30lbs New clothes & pack up what's too big
-40lbs new bathing suit that I feel great in!
-50lbs family photoshoot
-60lbs new tattoo

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

I can smell Spring...

the dew on the grass, the gentle breeze, the melting snow and the singing birds... it's almost here.

I've taken a walk with Jack everyday since it's been nice. It's been four days in a row now, and it's becoming part of our morning routine. It's about 1 1/2 mile walk too, so it's good exercise. I have him walk as far as he can holding my hand and then I put him in the stroller. Sometimes I let him wonder by himself and he just looks and pokes and explores. He really enjoys our little walks. Yesterday he found pinecones, today he noticed rocks, and he's absolutely fascinated by the gutters, haha. I have a feeling Spring and summer will be a big motivation when it comes to losing weight and getting healthy. And soon our pool will be open! I love to swim.

So, since my first, real hypnotherapy session, which was very small probably lasting just 5 minutes, I can tell a difference. That first night, I had the urge to binge... but that image he told me to think of, came to mind. I thought of what he told me too about motivation, that without motivation I would still binge. I have motivation, just I feel out of control... and that night, I felt in control, enough to let my motivation take over and I ate some carrots w/lowfat veggie dip & roasted almonds. The next day, I ate well again... and late that night I had the urge to over eat, but I wasn't out of control like in the past, I could have said no, but I didn't have the motivation... I wanted to. Not the greatest feeling, but I knew in my mind I could have stopped myself, and that's where I know there is a change. I hope this continues to work for me, it almost seems too good to be true.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Weight Loss Hypnotherapy session #2

I saw Roy again last night.

He started off the session with a few questions. He asked if anything monumental had happened in the last week. I said no, not really... but that I did share my struggle with weight loss with a close friend. I didn't mention my blog because I wasn't sure if he knew what a blog was, haha. Roy's a bit older if you know what I mean.

He said opening up about it and talking is good.

I knew this from my old sessions with Dan.

He then asked how the person I shared with responded, and continued to tell me sometimes people don't understand you just need to talk and you're not asking them to fix you. He said sometimes it can be more harmful to you if they don't respond correctly.

I laughed a little, I knew this all too well.

I told him the person I shared with, who is a good friend of mine- she took it okay. She did laugh a little when I mentioned hypnotherapy, and then said, "You just need to stop eating." My face must have said it all because she quickly apologized and said she didn't mean it like that. I didn't take it to heart.

(I wish it was that simple.)

Roy laughed, and asked if I've ever heard the doctor & arm joke. I told him no, and he told me about a man who went to the doctor raised his arm and said, "It hurts when I do this." The doctor's response was, "Well just stop doing that." Roy said, It's never that simple.

He went on talking about the hypnotherapy. He asked if I had ever been hypnotized before. I told him I have, it was a long time ago though. It was at the Ohio State Fair during my FFA years in school. I was probably 15 or 16 at the time. I told him I remember thinking the whole time, am I really hypnotized? I also remember trying to stand up but it felt like a giant weight was on my back.

He said this is good, because then I know it's nothing scary and you're not completely asleep or vulnerable like some people think. You're awake the whole time, what you do is listen to the person talking, focus as best as you can, relax as best you can. He also said I can "wake" myself up if I'm feeling uncomfortable anytime by counting backwards from five to one. He went on to speak about how relaxed I would feel, he said for some people... it's the most relaxed they've ever been in their life.

I then asked him about progressive relaxation and if it was similar. I said I use to do this last year when I saw my old counselor Dan. He suggested it when I was having trouble sleeping. And it worked, it was difficult at first (focusing), but it worked for me.

Roy, seemed a little excited I had done that and said, "Yes, Just like that!"

(If you're curious, progressive relaxation is basically when you listen to someone speaking saying, "relax your toes, relax your feet, relax your ankle... etc." and you try as best you can to focus, breath & do this. Usually when I got to my chest/neck I would start to dose off. This is what I listened to last year: Harriet Brekalo, The Art of Self Healing. You can download it from itunes. I also recommend a pair of headphones, it will help you focus better. I remember getting upset when I couldn't find my headphones last year, it made that much of a difference.)

Roy said that since I have been hypnotized before, and that I use to do progressive relaxation, which is similar to hypnotherapy, that this will probably work well for me.

Some people are more able to be hypnotized than others, for some people... they can't focus, or they laugh and break their focus or don't really believe in the process. If you're that type of person, it probably wouldn't do you a bit of good.

After we talked a little, Roy said we could do a small hypnotherapy session that day if I'd like. I asked him, how it works exactly, I was just curious how this all soaks into your mind. He told me that you put your part of the brain that reasons to sleep, and open up your subconscious. He said there will be a small window and you're more open to suggestions.

hmm... Interesting.

Roy then turned all the lights off except for one. It was still bright though, considering it was 5pm and daylight. I felt comfortable. Then he asked me to close my eyes (while I sat in the same chair I was in while we talked, you don't lay down like some people think) and we started.

I don't want to go into detail about what he said, because I've done a little research on hypnotherapy and it can be dangerous if not done correctly, so I've chosen to keep those details out of my blog and only share the general idea of the hypnotherapy sessions.

Basically, he told me when I feel the urge to binge to think of myself when I was happy, at 140lbs. To think of a photo of myself where I felt great, I thought of this photo... back at 4-H camp many years ago! haha That's me in the middle. (Please ignore the scary, plaid pants. lol)

He said to think of this photo when I get the urge, and instead to eat fresh vegetables or fruit, something healthy.

He also said that next time at our hypnotherapy session, that I will be open to the process and will able to return to this state of relaxation easily. He then counted back from 5 to 1 and I slowly "woke up."

Monday, March 8, 2010

peeling off the layers

I've started seeing a counselor again, not for PPD or past trauma, but for weight loss. I thought maybe he could help me figure out why eating healthy is such a struggle for me right now. I can eat healthy all day, within the 1200 calorie range and then right before bed I blow it. It's like I can't control myself and the whole day is wasted. I feel like an addict. I feel weak. I feel like I'm going to be over weight forever.

I'm scared I'm going to wake up one day and I'll be 300lbs. If this cycle doesn't stop then that's exactly what's going to happen. I was 140lbs in high school. This was my healthy weight. I had a lot of muscle and was working out two hours everyday after school. I maintained this weight until I quit soccer. I gained 30lbs, then lost 30lbs. I kept the weight off for two years until I got married, then four months later I was pregnant and the rest is history.

I started seeing my counselor last Monday. He's someone new. My old counselor, Dan, who I saw last year for PPD does not handle eating disorders, and my insurance recommended this new counselor. I hate going to someone new. I trusted Dan, he knew my life story, haha... and it's a long one at that.

At my first session, Roy (my new counselor, that's his name) asked why I was there and I explained my situation. He then he asked if I had ever been through anything traumatic in my life. I laughed. He didn't. I tried to fill him in the best I could. I was surprised how calm and open I was this time around. I feel truly at peace with everything. We both agreed this wasn't anything we needed to probably speak about anymore, that I am okay with it now, it's been dealt with and I can put it to rest. It was a relief.

He said my treatment can go one of two ways- 1) he'll set me up with a meal plan. Which I then explained, a meal plan is not what I need, control is. I know what to eat, when to eat and how much to eat. I probably know better than most people what is in something when it comes to calories & nutrition.

He then said, or hypnotherapy... that he actually hypnotizes patients to gain control when it comes to weight loss and even smoking. I was surprised he mentioned this, I didn't see it on his list of things he specializes in. I was excited! I said I would be open to anything really. We agreed to start there. He said it takes a few weeks before the first session of hypnotherapy, that first we'll discuss how I'm feeling before I binge, what my triggers are... etc.

I hope this works, I don't expect it to be magic... but I'm hoping it will help me gain control a little more. To be able to deal with my emotions before I eat them.

I hate talking about this whole topic. I really hate opening up about it. I'm more upset about this than anything in my past, I guess because I did this to myself. I hurt myself. I have no one to blame but me. And it's dumb really. I told my counselor if I was skinny like I use to be that I feel like my life would be perfect. It sounded so dumb when it came out of my mouth.

I think this is where my face turned red.

Roy then took the attention off me and told me how he use to work at the prison across from Joel as a counselor with the inmates, and it made me feel better.

I said, "So you've heard it all?"

He smiled and said, "They're all innocent."

We both laughed, and I knew the last thing I had to worry about was him judging me.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010


So much has happened in the past week. Joel started his new sergeant position Monday at the prison and we're on a new, normal schedule for once working 8-4 and weekends & holidays off. Not to mention the $2 pay raise. I hope it's permanent. The warden told him he's the first person to ever get sergeant who didn't have over 10 years + at the prison, Joel only has three... and to consider this a huge accomplishment even if it isn't permanent.

And in my neck of the woods- I'm starting a new business! The works are slow but it should be open by summer (I hope)... I'm trying to keep it on the hush until it's finalized and ready to go, but I'm really REALLY excited about it. The hard part is finding the time to work, it's hard when I'm mom 24/7 and Joel's job sometimes requires over time. Once it is up and running, it will be so much easier to maintain. I'm really excited about this!

And I just booked my tickets to NC for the end of April. I'm going to visit my big sister and her family. I'm really excited, it's just going to be just me though. Joel is staying behind with Jack. It will be my FIRST night away from Jack. Kind of strange to think he's 18 months and I've never spent a night away, and it's not that I don't want to, I guess the opportunity just never came about. We're hoping this fall we can get away on our anniversary and maybe Jack can stay with family.

AND! St. Patty's Day is coming up soon. We have a tradition of watching the Columbus Irish parade and eating green eggs and pancakes. Maybe I can talk my sis, Jess into coming along and bringing baby Brayden.

Seems like time is moving so much faster this year...

Monday, February 22, 2010

22 things I've learned in 22 years.

1.) No matter how much you care for someone, you can't make them care for you.

2.) Laughter is the best medicine.

3.) Be in the moment.

4.) Being a mother is the hardest job in the world, so be kind to your mother. Although it wasn't the best to you, it may have been her best.

5.) Being able to admit your mistakes shows real strength and character.

6.) Talking, writing... it really does give you clarity.

7.) Never put work before your family. If you do, it's something you'll always regret.

8.) Don't judge. You won't really understand this until you've judged someone and then found yourself in their shoes. It will be a really monumental moment in your life.

9.) Sometimes you have to chose to be happy.

10.) A dog really is a man's best friend.

11.) Never discuss sex, religion or politics at the dinner table... or facebook :)

12.) I believe in all paths to God.

13.) Besides education and global communication, television and the internet are pretty worthless to society.

14.) You will not understand your parents' love until you, yourself have a child.

15.) Just when you think you have the world figured out, something will happen and you will realize you still have a LOT to learn. I'm pretty sure this will be a life long thing.

16.) Sometimes taking a moment to reflect instead of react will save you a lot of trouble.

17.) The world doesn't stop to grieve with you, but hopefully a few close people in your life will.

18.) Strive to know more about the world and the people in it.

19.) Never trust someone selling something door to door.

20.) If it sounds too good to be true, you're probably right.

21.) If you're looking for a job and it costs money to start- you're getting screwed.

22.) Live like your days are numbered. Because they are.

meet my nephew, Brayden Kyle

My beautiful sister... as a first time mother. I know she'll one day she'll cherish these photos, and I was really honored to capture these first moments as a family.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

the walmart greeter

There's a man who greets me at my local walmart almost every time I go. When I see it's him... I automatically smile because I know he's going to make my day. He's so friendly, always smiles and gives my baby Jack a yellow happy face sticker (even if he is too young and tries to eat it, ha!) He asks me how my day is going, usually gets a cart out for me and helps me put my cart cover on (because I'm sure it always looks like I'm struggling)... really just the nicest guy.

He's this way to everyone, every. single. person who enters and leaves. And it doesn't matter what day it is, he's still so positive and upbeat... and it got me thinking- I really envy him. For his attitude. I know nothing about him, about his life, his struggles... nothing- but I can tell you he knows attitude is everything. I feel like he knows something I don't- something about life that I have yet to figure out.

Now you can say the greeter is suppose to be this way, but this guy looks genuinely happy and goes out of his way... there's a difference in the normal greeter, I promise.

It just had me thinking... I honestly want to be more like the walmart greeter, I want to be able to control my attitude like he does, because for me it can be a major struggle.

“The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life. Attitude, to me, is more important than facts. It is more important than the past, the education, the money, than circumstances, than failure, than successes, than what other people think or say or do. It is more important than appearance, giftedness or skill. It will make or break a company... a church... a home. The remarkable thing is we have a choice everyday regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day. We cannot change our past... we cannot change the fact that people will act in a certain way. We cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude. I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% of how I react to it. And so it is with you... we are in charge of our Attitudes.”
-Charles R. Swindoll

Thankful Three:
Joel was off work today! I'm sick so this was a big blessing.
I had fun with Jack coloring today, he's getting pretty good... even if he does bite a chunk out of the crayon every once in awhile.
I'm thankful for the basics, our health, a warm home, and food in our bellies!

looking back.

Saturday, February 16, 2008 5:43am

This is all so new to me...
When I took that test I was in shock, litterly every emotion you could possibly imagine came over me. I have never FELT so much as one time. It was an incredable feeling knowing what was inside me- what WE created.

Now that I've had time to let things sink in I can finally see myself- as a mom. I find myself making huge decisions for my family now and not for myself.

I gave my two week notice to my Skybus Airlines yesterday, they took it really well and basically told me the door is open. It was nice to have support in my decision, even if it was saying goodbye. I'm offically now a newborn photographer for the major hospitals here in Columbus. How ironic! I'll be working on the maternity ward... how safer can you get?

I told my oldest sister I was worried about money and finding a new job...etc... she told me everything will work itself out. And so far- it has.

One of my favorite quotes says, "Every change is a form of liberation." And I honestly feel free... I don't feel trapped or even a bit upset about giving up certain things in my life. I feel ready for that next step, even if I am a little terrified! I have never felt more free and natural in my life!

I'm excited... excited to meet you, my angel- my baby :)

Friday, February 12, 2010

not a baby anymore

We're almost finished bottle weaning. I'm a little late to the game, but we weren't ready and my mother in law said he'll let me know when he's ready and not to stress, and last night when he took a bottle of water instead of milk I knew it was time.

Jack's only taking water from the bottle before bed and before his afternoon nap, and drinks from a sippy the rest of the day. I can tell soon he probably won't even want that. I'm happy but also kind of sad... I feel like I'm closing part of the baby chapter :(

I think I maybe more of a mess the day we pack up the crib.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Meal Planning for 2/5- 2/12

$53.68 total

red seedless grapes
3 gallons whole milk
1 gallon 1%
2-whole wheat boxed mac & cheese
red onion
mozz. cheese
apple juice
apple slices
whole wheat pasta
2-fettuccini sauce
blueberry waffles
whole wheat bread
turkey lunch meat
pumpkin muffin mix
semi sweet choco. chips

Our Meal Plan this week:
(I had many items/meals left over from last week so that's why it was much cheaper this week.)
Whole wheat fettuccine alfredo with chicken (enough for two different meals)
Homemade chicken tenders & sweet potatoes
BBQ Chicken Pizza & salad (never made last week)
Turkey burgers on wheat buns & zucchini sticks

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

What I've been up to...

It's been an insanely busy week, but I'm not complaining :)

Finished up another client's photo book Monday. Here's the cover and a few spreads from their book.

Brayden Kyle P. was born last night. My sister was induced at 6am, and called me around 4pm asking me to come. She wanted me there for the birth. I was more than thrilled, and the poor thing pushed for 3 1/2 hours... and finally at 11:43pm... the 23 inches long, 10lbs 11oz. chunkster made his way into the world :)

Did I mention I was so excited I forgot to grab MY CAMERA! And my flip video.... boo. These were all taken with my camera phone.

Introducing... Brayden Kyle

And tomorrow? Tomorrow my big sister, Lynnette, from North Carolina is flying in! I'm sooo excited. I was actually texting her and sending phone images during Jessica's birth, until I was yelled at and told texting was over. haha... she got very frustrated at the end which I can understand, did I mention she pushed for over 3 hours? And the kid was over 10lbs? ;)

We're suppose to go pick her up from the airport tomorrow. I'm going to make a sign and have Jack help decorate that says "Aunt 'nette" for Jack to hold (or stick to his stroller) when she comes out of the terminal :)

Hopefully I don't get lost! I use to be a flight attendant so you'd think I'd know where I was going, but they were doing massive construction when I left and I know it's much bigger now... pray I know where I'm going :)~

Monday, February 1, 2010

Live Simply.

My goal is to live simply, greenly and frugally.

How do I do this? Well, with a lot of help from It's an awesome site with some great tips. For me, getting back to the basics is what I want in my life. In fact I recently went to (an awesome financial site) and saw that our "shopping" was less than 3%. WOW! I guess I should be happy. I think I'm starting to actually get where I want to be.

I feel like when I was working full time, before Jack, we had less money. I don't know how to really describe it. Things are so different now, I mean trust me there is LESS money coming in... but I feel like we have more.

Yikes, 2:30 am... cutting this one short! Nite :)

Friday, January 29, 2010

Meal Planning

This week's dinner meals:
-whole wheat spaghetti & homemade meatballs + salad (bought enough supplies for two dinner nights)
-Cheese Quiche (crap I just realized I forgot to buy the spinach! ugh.)
-BBQ Chicken Pizza + salad (somehow I also forgot to buy the crust... wtf, I'm off tonight, lol)
-Turkey Burgers, whole wheat buns & zucchini sticks (bought enough ground turkey for two dinner nights)
-Chicken tenders, homemade honeymustard & salad
-Stuffed Banana French Toast (I have a lot of bananas that I didn't use this week for this recipe!)

So altogether with lunch supplies, extras, and snacks for us and Jack, and also ziplock freezer bags the total came to $76.95. Which isn't too bad since I'm trying to stay around $70 a week, I bought a few things in bulk so hopefully future purchases will be a little smaller and help me round out the total at the end of the month. Also a few of these dinners will be rather large and there will be leftovers, so it may stretch this week a little farther than normal.

Yay for budgeting! :)

Thursday, January 28, 2010


::big sigh::

I can't believe this is me.

Obviously, pre-Jack days, me.

Have you ever heard that song "Sunscreen"... you know the one, wrote for the class of '99? There's a phrase that rings true for me and it goes a little something like this,

"Enjoy the power and beauty of your youth; oh nevermind; you will not
understand the power and beauty of your youth until they have faded.
But trust me, in 20 years you’ll look back at photos of yourself and
recall in a way you can’t grasp now how much possibility lay before
you and how fabulous you really looked….You’re not as fat as you imagine."

Someone tell me why this girl thought she was too fat to wear a two piece?


To be 18 again!

Thankful Four:
-Still waiting on Baby Brayden to make his appearance...
maybe he's holding off until Saturday so Aunt Olivia can make it to the hospital without having to find a sitter! LOL
-Joel got off early today, woot woot.
-Got some kickass photos of Jack today, notice the new header? :)

Jack Aiden

Monday, January 25, 2010


lol, I love my boys...

Update about Gavin

It gives me the chills to let everyone know he gets to go home tomorrow :)

Thanks for the prayers and well wishes.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Meal Planning

My budget was $70, and I ended up spending $74... not too bad considering I threw in a pair of snow boots for Jack that I had not planned on buying.

This weeks meal plan:

Turkey Cutlets with Parmesan Crust + baked sweet potatoes
Whole Wheat French Toast + Turkey Bacon
Homemade Chicken Tenders + sweet peas/Salad
Whole Wheat Chicken Fettucini Alfredo + Salad
Low Fat, Low Sodium Broccoli & Cheese Soup + Salad

Deserts: Homemade Lemon Mousse w/raspberries on top/ Cook & serve Chocolate & Vanilla Pudding

Aside from the dinner menu, the extras for lunches and other meals: 2 boxes Whole Wheat Mac & Cheese for lunches, Whole Wheat Bread, 4 Gallons of milk, Apple Juice, Orange Juice, zucchini, bananas, shredded cheese, eggs, granny smith apples, honey graham crackers, yogurt melts, 3 whole chicken breasts... and children's motrin (Which isn't food, but it was part of the budget) 2% american single cheese slices.

Thankful Three:
I went out to dinner with my two favorite boys tonight and had a blast :)
Today is my sister's DUE DATE! Baby Brayden will be here soon and I'm so EXCITED!
And I'm also excited because my oldest sister will be flying in on the 4th to spend some time with us and to also meet baby Brayden.

Friday, January 22, 2010


When you help someone, when you give... it builds your spirit and heart. It's indescribable.

I'm really fortunate my family has raised me in a family that desires to give, and one thing I was taught was that you should always give more than you receive. And that when you give, it will always come back around.

I really hope I instill the same values in Jack, that my parents instilled in me. I honestly do not mind what he does when he grows up as long as he has a good heart, and he's an honest man. Your word, and your heart... that's what makes a great person.

My mom always had that "we can save the word" mentality... and although at times it wasn't realistic, it was genuine and she really cared for people... and I learned from her that you can help, even if it is small.

Think you can't help? You don't have the means? Well you can, you really can.


Helping doesn't mean donating hundreds of dollars or even money necessarily, you can help those around you and across the globe in many ways.

-Give $5, $10... whatever it is you CAN give. Every little bit adds up.
-Donate clothing
-Donate non-perishable food items
-Your TIME

Helping is a really wide spread thing, there are many different ways. And I think it's important to strive to help others, to seek out to help those you can. And I think it's equally important to involve your children in the process.

I believe we have a responsibility to help those who cannot help themselves.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

fighting back the tears...

I've read several blogs of parents who's child is battling an illness, but I've never experienced this within my own family. It's never been on that real personal level... it hits you hard. Real hard.

A family friend I grew up with, her son, Gavin, who's currently three... has battled and beat cancer, and received a liver transplant in the process. He's a healthy boy now, and his liver transplant anniversary is coming up, Feb. 24th to be exact. His mother called me early Monday morning to ask about photos... it went straight to voicemail though, I was busy that day and was going to call back when I got a chance. She always has photos done around his transplant anniversary and she sends them to the donor's family & her family & friends. But before I got a chance to call back, things changed...

She and Gavin are currently at the Children's hospital in Cinny.

I found out from my mother where they were, and I have not called... I know they probably have enough family & friends calling and asking how they are doing. She posted on her facebook a link to her journal for people to read about how Gavin's doing. I've never read it before today, my mother mentioned it once before... She said she's read it and it really gives you a look into Rachel's mind and heart. My mother encouraged Rachel's mother to read it herself but she said it's too hard.

Well, I read it tonight for the first time and I had to fight back the tears... we're pulling for them, praying for them and thinking of them. I grew up with Rachel, and her siblings... her mother is like an Aunt to me, they've been there for me always....

I wanted to write about Gavin and his mother Rachel because I wanted to ask if you'd say a prayer for Gavin...

They're awesome people, and I hope things start to look up soon.

You should really meet Gavin & Rachel.

Thankful Three:
-I'm thankful that Jack is a healthy baby boy, because after hearing about Gavin... it makes you realize just how much you really take for granted.
-For my new friend Jessica. She's a cool mom who lives above me and I've been looking for new friendship and someone to hang out with. I was really having a hard time meeting people in London.
-And I'm thankful for Joel, because I swear no one can make me laugh like he does... he had me cracking up today before he left for work.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

what I've been up to...

work work and more work.

But it doesn't feel like work :)

(Here's a few sneak peeks of a client's book I've been working on.)

Thankful Three:
-That I got to sleep in today, thank you Joel!
-Although it was messy, it was funny and cute when Jack got marshmallows in his hair.
-When Jack was having a rough time falling asleep for his afternoon nap, I went in & read him a book in the softest voice I have. I felt like it really made him relax... he even exhaled. I felt like I had that "mother's touch" in that moment and he went right to bed afterwards. :)

Friday, January 8, 2010

Snow Day!!!

Okay snow days are not that fun anymore... it means we're stuck at home, which means cabin fever. Soooo today I made sure to dig us out and head to walmart, which is the only store within safe distance really.... I went to walmart with Jack, and my neighbor Jess who lives above me with her baby girl, Emma. Hey, it kept us sane and I needed to go grocery shopping :)

And in honor of the snow day... lol.

Joel took this of me the day it was below zero. I have no shame. We call this the turtle hat.

Oh and my thankful three...

I'm thankful that we got to escape today and I got to spend time with my new friend Jess, and that I got a lot of dishes done, lol. And I'm thankful for a nice warm home, it's been so cold lately, sometimes we forget how lucky we truly are.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

54 years young

My thankful three for the day...

I'm thankful that me and Jack got to visit my dad today. We took him a cake for his birthday and stayed for supper.

This morning, Jack climbed up in his rocking chair in his room with a book... and pretended to read it to himself... upside down :) It made me smile. It was so sweet. I was folding clothes and putting them in his closet and took a break to sit with him and read it.

And this evening I really started to miss Joel. But I like that feeling... because it makes me excited when he walks in the door. I just want to be around him, snuggle with him :)

Monday, January 4, 2010

Many Blessings

One of my New Years resolutions was to be a more positive person. One way I'm going to do that is by writing at least three things everyday I am thankful for.

(Well maybe not everyday... when I get around to it, I'm trying to be more flexible remember? I hate when something fun becomes a chore!)

They can be a task I accomplished, something that made me smile or something that I just realized how much I love in my life.

I had many blessings today... Joel let me sleep in, me and Jack shared a really sweet bedtime routine (bath, bottle and two books) and of course he soaked me during bath time by splashing like crazy. And I'm getting caught up on my reading tonight (I'm behind 3 chapters).

I can't believe how long that took me to think about & come up with... I think this will be good for me. It makes me search for the good in everyday :)

Sunday, January 3, 2010

"Don't worry... about a thing"

"Cause every little things...gonna be alright."

"You have it easily in your power to increase the sum total of this world's happiness now. How? By giving a few words of sincere appreciation to someone who is lonely or discouraged. Perhaps you will forget tomorrow the kind words you say today, but the recipient may cherish them over a lifetime." -Dale Carnegie

Me and Joel participated in the "Give Anissa a Hand" project. It's for a mother of three who is in a very difficult position in her life. She's got a lot to fight for and her husband reached out online and asked for people to help him encourage her because he can't do it alone. I don't know Anissa personally, but I read her blog and thought a single kind word to a stranger can be just as powerful, so I asked Joel to join in and we photographed our hands together. I read that once during a bad day, her little boy started to sing the song "Three Little Birds" and through her tears she joined in... I felt like that song probably meant a lot to her so that's what we chose for our message.

Today the final project was posted, and I was really happy to see our message was something that hit so close to home.

Give Anissa a Hand from davezwife on Vimeo.

You should really meet Anissa.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Meal Planning Ideas

Master List for Meal Planning

whole wheat, cucumber & cream cheese sammies

Main Course:
pork chops
homemade pizza
French Toast casserole
whole wheat fettuccini alfredo & veggies (or chicken)
baked BBQ chicken
baked teriyaki chicken
chicken and dumplings
chicken pot pie
grandma Geuy's chili
mexican casserole
pot roast & veggies in the crock pot
bbq pulled pork sandwiches in the crock pot
stir fry
light broccoli cheese soup
breakfast casserole
healthy homemade chicken tenders

deviled eggs
baked potato
baked sweet potato
mashed potatoes
cheesy potatoes
green bean casserole
cheese ball & crackers (catalina/onion)
baked sweet potato
steak fries
chips & salsa
Guacamole & chips


green beans
sweet peas

breakfast bars

...not everything is listed, this will be updated constantly, but hopefully over time this will actually become my master list...

Happy New Year B!tches!

Maybe one of my resolutions should be to stop cursing... hmm

So I quietly rang in the New Year with the hubby. We went to bed about five minutes before the ball dropped. ha I guess for the next few years we'll be having a rather quiet NYE since little Jack. I don't mind, we were never big on NYE anyways.

I decided to list my New Years Resolutions... so in no particular order, here they are:

1) Making health a large priority in my life. It's always taken the back seat, and I think it's time to make it a habit, not only for myself, but for Jack. He needs two healthy parents and he needs good examples. My first step in making this happen is by joining a gym by the end of January.

2) Visit more people. I want to spend at least one day a week visiting my grandparents, Joel's Uncle Bever who is currently in a home, or just reaching out to a friend I haven't seen in awhile. I'm kind of bad at this. I'm a big homebody and just need to be a little more social and put myself out there.

3) Take more time for US.

4) Simplify. And by simplify I mean my home, and also the promises I make to people.

5) Be a more happy and positive person. I struggle with this. I think just growing up around so much negativity that it sometimes consumes me. Attitude wasn't a big thing growing up and I'd like to be able to control mine a little better!

6) Give most of my time and energy to those who deserve it. I'm talking about not wasting time on someone who wouldn't even consider doing the same for me. There are so many people who are always there for me and would do anything for me and I feel like I should be giving back just as much to them and not wasting time on those who don't matter.

7) Do something crazy and fun :) I have no idea what, ideas are welcome! haha

8) Being the best mom I can be. I'd like to have one day a week devoted to Jack. Like a special trip somewhere for just us to bond and have a good time. Nothing too deep, just something like Chuck E Cheese, the park or Bounce World... something fun and memorable. I want him to just enjoy being a kid. A lot of days are filled with errands, trips to the grocery store, etc. and that's totally normal but I want him to have a fun day too.

9) Continue to pay off old debt. We're almost debt free... it's taking a little longer than anticipated, but we're doing a great job putting the extra money where it belongs.

10) Remember that goals are just goals, and not following them to a "T" won't make me a failure but flexible :) So I guess that's my last resolution, to be more flexible.

11) OH! I forgot two! Read more & take more time for meee :)
There was an error in this gadget
Blogging tips